There are two reasons you might want to see the new Ben-Hur movie (2016):  1) the vivid, naturalistic visuals (as in the set design) and 2) the performance of Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur.  Aside from this . . . no sale.

It is literally incredible that Judah Ben-Hur would refuse to name the Zealot who tries to assassinate Pontius Pilate when not only he but also his mother and sister are under threat of being killed.  In the hell-for-leather chariot race, Ben-Hur holds on to the horses’ reins while being dragged on the ground, but manages to defy physics and pull himself back to, and climb up on, the chariot.  These are just two of the many absurdities in the film.

Here’s another:  Jesus Christ is more of a Love teacher than a Redeemer, except that through the death on the cross an awesome miracle occurs with its implications. . . Admittedly I found the ending of Ben-Hur quite edifying (but to me the ending of God’s Not Dead 2 was edifying as well).  I readily assert that Roma Downey and Mark Burnett should be executive-producing better Christian movies than this.  Many, I fear, would deem the film not only dissatisfying but unwatchable too.

Directed by Timar Bekmambetov.